Category: Universities

The expansion of universities is one marked feature of the social life in the present age. All countries have shared in this movement with growth of universities, in the number of institutions, in size, and in internal complexity of organization. With time higher education moved from the periphery to the centre of governmental agendas in different perspectives especially what regards addressing many policy priorities. However, policy-makers tends to analyse universities on how they best fulfil a direct economic function while in reality it is crucial that the true role of universities in society is being understood before mechanisms to promote changes are put in place, i.e. in terms of research, educations and society services. It is important to recognize that the university is a resource for an unknown future and not only “useful knowledge” with an immediate application. While the main role of the university is education, research or scholarship and innovation are essential to the university enterprise especially when they are intimately associated with the educational process. Research-only and teaching-only staff undermines the rationale for university research. Society services conducted by universities have potential importance to stimulate regional social and cultural vitality and this in itself has, also, an economic impacts. It is important to appreciate the health of the university engine that delivers the outcomes from the university activities and not only the outcomes. All these are complex but inter-linked and essential aspects of the university’s functions in a sustainable context of growing and dynamic society and market needs.

UN-SDG – Emerging possibilities for collaboration.

Currently, we are exploring the possibilities of mutual collaboration with major players within global applied sustainability issues. This is an interesting example, where coupling of science and technology with society, population and market needs, of pressing and urget nature in particular what regards transboundary socio-economic developments in the framework of UN-SDG.

<a href=”https://m.youtube.com/watch?list=PLXHgKvdFTooyUZcIdNEi9wvVWjNSllBpV&v=ziLJ-FBGwK8&index=24″>https://m.youtube.com/watch?list=PLXHgKvdFTooyUZcIdNEi9wvVWjNSllBpV&v=ziLJ-FBGwK8&index=24</a>

Korean’s Sustainability Concept for Water Resourse Management – Smart Water Grids 

The increasing pressures and competition on water resources on different spatio-temporal scales require developing more friendly and sustainable approaches to meet the increasing constrains from population growth, uncertain energy production and accelerating threats from global warming. 

Among newly emerging solutions is Grid-concept “water production-distribution-consumption” which is described in the attached Link that describes “Sustainable Water Distribution Strategy with Smart Water Grid” (http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/7/4/4240/htm).

UN-SGD – Last Emergency Call For Intensive Care of Mother Earth

Indeed, UN-SDG can be regarded as the last call, after a series of regular and continuous calls on several regional and global levels, for meeting pressing and urgent needs for implementation of effective, practical and immediate solutions and measures of the pilling threats and degradation on earth’s environmental and climate systems.

Now the UNEP releases its recent GEO-6 Regional Assessment documents, May 2016. The Networking of “sustain-earth.com” got this information also from Hussein Abaza, an excellent Reporter on sustainability issues and Director at Centre for Sustainable Development Solutions “CSDS”, Cairo, Egypt.

A series of regional reports on the state of the planet’s health deliver the message that environmental deterioration is occurring much faster than previously thought and action is needed now to reverse the worst trends. The ‘Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-6): Regional Assessments,’ published by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), is a compilation of six reports examining environmental issues affecting the world’s six regions: the Pan-European region, North America, Asia and the Pacific, West Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), and Africa.
The release of the regional assessments coincides with the second session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-2), which is convening in Nairobi, Kenya, from 23-27 May 2016. The Pan-European assessment will be launched at the eighth Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference in Batumi, Georgia, on 8 June 2016.

The assessments found that the regions share a range of common environmental threats, including climate change, biodiversity loss, land degradation, population growth, rapid urbanization, rising consumption levels, desertification and water scarcity, which all must be addressed in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The assessments involved 1,203 scientists, hundreds of scientific institutions and more than 160 governments, and are based on scientific data and peer reviewed literature. The regional assessments will inform GEO-6, which will be released before 2018 and will provide an assessment of the state, trends and outlook of the global environment.
The GEO-6 LAC assessment notes the strong impact of emissions from agriculture in the region, including an increase in nitrous oxide emissions of about 29% between 2000 and 2010 from soils, leaching and runoff, direct emissions and animal manure, and an increase in methane emissions of about 19% due to the plethora of beef and dairy cattle. Regarding air pollution, the assessment points to particulate matter (PM) concentrations above World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. In addition, Andean glaciers, which provide water for millions, are shrinking. The LAC region has eliminated lead in gasoline and made headway in reducing ozone-depleting substances.
Approximately 41% of all reported natural disasters over the last two decades have occurred in the Asia and the Pacific region, according to the regional assessment. In Southeast Asia, more than one million hectares is deforested annually. Other environmental issues discussed in the report reference that: approximately 30% of the region’s population drinks water contaminated by human feces; water-related diseases and unsafe water contribute to 1.8 million deaths annually; uncontrolled dumping is a significant source of disease; and population growth, a growing middle class and urbanization have led to higher emissions, ill-managed waste and increased consumption.
In West Asia, an increase in degraded land and the spread of desertification are among the region’s most pressing challenges, as they lead to an increase in water demand, over-exploitation of groundwater resources and deteriorating water quality. In addition, conflict and displacement are having severe environmental impacts, such as heavy metals from explosive munitions and radiation from missiles leaching into the environment, and increased waste production and disease outbreaks. Almost 90% of municipal solid waste is disposed of in unlined landfill sites and is contaminating groundwater resources. The report estimates that air pollution alone caused more than 70,000 premature deaths in 2010.
In Africa, air pollution accounts for 600,000 premature deaths annually. The report also highlights that 68% of the population had clean water in 2012. In addition, inland and marine fisheries face over-exploitation from illegal, under-reported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. According to the report, around 500,000 square meters of land in Africa is being degraded by soil erosion, salinization, pollution and deforestation. African megacities, such as Cairo, Kinshasa and Lagos, have inadequate sanitation services.
In North America, environmental conditions, including air pollution, drinking water quality and well-managed protected areas, have improved due to policies, institutions, data collection and assessment and regulatory frameworks. However, aggressive hydrocarbon extraction methods can lead to increased emissions, water use and induced seismicity, while coastal and marine environments are experiencing, inter alia, ocean acidification and sea-level rise. Climate change is exacerbating the drought in California by approximately 15-20%, and Hurricane Sandy, in 2012, was directly responsible for approximately 150 deaths and US$70 billion in losses. However, mitigation efforts are having a positive impact; for example, solar deployment made up 40% of the market for new electricity generation in the US in the first half of 2015, and solar now powers 4.6 million homes. In the Arctic, warming has increased at twice the global average since 1980, and over the past twenty years, summer sea ice extent has dramatically decreased, which has, inter alia, created new expanses of open ocean, enabling more phytoplankton to bloom and alter the marine food chain.
Overall, recommendations of the assessments include, inter alia: strengthening intergovernmental coordination at the regional and sub-regional levels; improving gathering, processing and sharing data and information; enhancing sustainable consumption and production (SCP); harnessing natural capital in a way that does not damage ecosystems; implementing pollution control measures; investing in urban planning; reducing dependence on fossil fuels, and diversifying energy sources; investing in environmental accounting systems to ensure external costs are addressed; and building resilience to natural hazards and extreme climate events. [UN Press Release] [UNEP Press Release] [UNEP Knowledge Repository] [Factsheet for GEO 6 Regional Assessment for Africa
] [Factsheet for GEO 6 Regional Assessment for Asia Pacific]
 [Factsheet for GEO 6 Regional Assessment for Latin America and the Caribbean
] [Factsheet for GEO 6 Regional Assessment for North America] [
Factsheet for GEO 6 Regional Assessment for West Asia] [
Full Regional Assessment for Africa
] [Full Regional Assessment for Asia Pacific] 
[Full Regional Assessment for Latin America and the Caribbean
] [Full Regional Assessment for North America
] [Full Regional Assessment for West Asia].

Now it remains to see how these “SMART GOALS” will be further put in an effective and fast implementation agenda of actions. They are still many unclear details as what, when, how and where these goals will be dealt with in particular who will do what, how and when. Though the UN-SDG seem to be more or less specific in general terms, they need to be successful and instruments have to be put in place to measure such success as what you can not measure is does not exist and what you can not measure you can not control. Unless these goals become successful they will be gone with the wind as many other smart UN goals.

2016-05-30 08.22.08

Education, R&D and Public Awareness are Imperative for Sustainable Policies 

Understanding existing pressures and constrains for implementation and performance of successful sustainable policies requires tight and continuous involvement of all citizens on large-scale and long-term socio-economic policies. 

Planet Earth is a complex living organism with delicate balance that makes possible the unique functioning and metabolism of all life forms on earth. Water, energy and natural resources are essential and basic components that contribute in the earth’s delicate balance. Modern neccessities and future challenges are becoming more and more clear and require from us and future generations to keep such balance in tact with nature’s own dynamic processes. Our consumption of water, energy and natural resources needs to take in consideration the nature’s own delicate balance. 

Visit, share and contribute in “Sustain-earth.com” to inform and be informed on our growing needs for understanding the basic of APPLIED SUSTAINABILITY. An introduction is given at ABOUT (http://sustain-earth.com/about/).

  

Why Sustain-Earth.Com?

If you can not measure it, it does not exist and if you can measure it properly you would not be able to control it.

What is sustainability and how can we measure it, below are some information. To know more follow, share and contribute in: http://sustain-earth.com to know more

http://computingforsustainability.com/2009/03/16/more-sustainability-diagrams/

 

Egypt is heading Towards A New future – The New Cairo

Among the new plans for the socio-economic developments of Egypt a new capital “New Cairo” is planned to be established in region of the Red Sea so the pressure on the existing capital can be mitigated. Interesting enough the Red Sea region and Sinai, including the Suez Canal are becoming among the major changes and reforms in “Egypt the Future”. https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=941998875850439

To know more visit also, http://m.bbc.com/news/business-31874886

 

Science and Society – Why Do We Need Science Festivals?

Many universities around the world need effective and continuous interaction with the society and the public both on national and international levels. Such interactions can take place in different forms and through various instruments. The society and the public needs science and technology as much as science and technology needs the society and the public. These needs are mutual and may be direct or indirect, short-term or long-term and mediation instruments are imperative for the best possible outcome for all players and stakeholders. Permanent and effective mediation instruments are not straightforward to develop especially in the developing countries.

Science festivals are important instrument for universities and research institutions to inform the society about the finding of, and needs for, research and technology, to address the value of their educational programmes in everyday life, to engagement communities in whatever takes place in the scientific laboratories, lecture halls and classrooms. Also, to stimulate coming generations and increasing the motivation of young people in schools as well as to foster modern traditions and transformation to better future. “Sustain-earth” discusses such issues for stronger coupling of science and technology to society, market and population needs.

http://sustain-earth.com/2015/03/healthy-socio-environments-are-essential-for-sustainable-science-and-technology/

Healthy Socio-Environments Are Essential For Sustainable Science and Technology

Advances in societies require sustainable conditions for science and technology both what regards the internal functioning and also the external interaction and egagement with the society. Science and technology can not operate on their own, i.e. separated and isolated from the society, to deliver the best value to the society. After all the role of science and technology is to effectively serve the society.

For the society as a whole the three pillars of sustainability have (http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/171407/)to coexist on coherent and continuous basis and on all levels. Status of the environment and climate conditions as well as processes therein have to promote the conservation and protection of biodiversity and the natural resources. Meanwhile, economic conditions have to facilitate production, employment, income, wealth, markets, trade and technologies. The environment and economy sectors, and stakeholders therein, have to operate in socio-political conditions that serve and secure national and personal security, safety, justice, education, health care, the pursuit of science and the arts, and other functions in the civil society and the culture context.

Behind advances and progress in science and technology, i.e. scientific and technological breakthrough, their are enormous amount of effective infra-structures of well-organized labs, dense social city networks that integrate researchers and academics into commercial, trade, finance and market connections and policies for science and innovation. Science and technology doesn’t advance far if we don’t understand their dynamic behaviour, attitude and organisation. So, we should remember a basic truth that science and technology functions in a socio-economic context (http://www.theguardian.com/science/political-science/2015/feb/25/social-science-is-vital-too).

What regards science communication there are key issues that have to be addressed to bring together those involved in science communication and public engagement. Science and technology writing requires human elements, as when it comes to non-scientists reading and enjoying science has to be relevant to daily lives and a source of inspiration that bring more added-value to go on with people lives. Meanwhile, it is difficult for scientists and engineers to write on demand, appropriate environments, enough space of time and resources have to exist (http://blogs.nature.com/ofschemesandmemes/2011/05/27/best-of-nature-network-21-26-may).

 

Clean and Crime Free Environment – How, Where and When?

Clean and crime free environment to all living creatures on our earth is a mission humanity. This mission is not only limited to science and politics. Active contributions of all of us, our awareness of existing realities and our continuous support for scientific and political efforts are IMPERATIVE for achieving sustainable socio-economic developments worldwide. We are sharing one planet for living and our lives are dependent on sharing clean air, water and food. To have clean and crime free environment, not only for us but also for the future generations, we need to have all the necessary instruments, actions and efforts for conservation and protection of our common natural resources on earth.

http://missioncleanenvironment.com.au